Research reveals poor service can bring customers to tears and cost significant revenue
Businesses risk losing customers due to inconsistencies in the efficiency and quality of service across channels, according to new research by Pegasystems.
The global study, conducted by research firm Savanta, recently surveyed 12,700 business leaders, agents, and customers to understand how the pandemic is impacting the current and future states of customer service.
Businesses are making progress by adding more digital service channels to keep up with customer demands but this comes at the expense of service quality by creating more inconsistencies and increasing customer frustration.
For many businesses, the pandemic created extraordinary challenges that exacerbated longstanding customer frustrations, such as having to repeat the same information to multiple agents and being passed to different departments to resolve a single issue. Bad service can be so irritating that nearly 27% of consumers surveyed felt it had ruined their day and even caused one in 10 to cry or nearly cry. But their most consequential reaction is often expressed through their wallets: 77% of customers said they would take their business elsewhere if they received poor service. The pressure is on executives to address these service issues before they do any further damage to their businesses, many of which are still in pandemic recovery mode.
Jeff Nicholson, global leader, CRM Strategy, Pegasystems, said: “The pandemic served as an accelerator for many organizations to fast-forward their customer service strategy deeper into digital.
“Today’s challenge, however, is that many traditional approaches still lack the journey-centric technology needed to achieve fast resolution via a customer’s preferred point of contact. Just being present on a range of channels is no longer enough. The next great opportunity is to up-level the quality of service on all channels so they can consistently resolve the same critical customer issues.”
In some ways, businesses are already responding. Compared to a similar study in 2019, the number of businesses providing some form of omnichannel service today has increased from 55% to 68% – a 24% increase. But even as organisations invest in or explore new technologies to enhance service, 80% admit the quality of service varies across the channels they support.
The survey identified three areas that should be a priority to businesses:
The impact of the pandemic has long-lasting implications for customer service, both today and in the future. As businesses adjust, having the right solutions in place will help provide the level of service customers have come to expect.